According to the American Psychological Association “Marriage and divorce are both common experiences. In Western cultures, more than 90% of people marry by age 50. Healthy marriages are good for couples’ mental and physical health. They are also good for children; growing up in a happy home protects children from mental, physical, educational and social problems. However, about 40-50% of married couples in the United States divorce.” I scoured the Internet for statistics on families of children with congenital heart defects and was only able to find one small study. That study from 1979-1980 Pediatric Cardiology looked at 40 families of children with tetralogy of Fallot, and they concluded that, “stress due to reparable tetralogy of Fallot appears to be well tolerated in the family and is associated with no more family instability or marriage dissolution than a childhood appendectomy.”
Each of our Guests today is the parent of a child with a CHD. Our Guests today are Brenda Vignaroli, Leah Anne Lowrey and Frank Jaworski. They will tell us about what kind of relationships they are in and how having a child with a congenital heart defect has affected those relationships.
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